In this second book in The Royal Four series, Olivia and Dane Calwell marry after knowing each other for a very short time. Olivia is a unique young woman, but has yet to spread her wings after living with a rather horrendous mother. Dane is an elite spy for the British government, but has no intentions of filling Olivia in on this secret.
Dane also has a, uh, large "probelm." Lots of steamy love scenes ensue. On the more serious side of the plot, this book deals largely with expectations - real and disappointed, misunderstood and unspoken, met and exceeded. Of course there's humor and lots of action, and reappearances by others in the Four and some of the Liars. Not my favorite book in this particular quartet, but still a cut above the average romance novel.
I will admit that at first I thought this book would be a "skimmer," as it took me several chapters to really get into the story. Kendall's writing style takes some getting used to, as at times her sentences are a little long and convoluted. However, I was eventually drawn into the plot, enjoyed the characters, and ended up really liking the book.
You would assume that, since this story takes place near Loch Ness, the legend the characters are chasing would be the Loch Ness Monster. But no, DeHart takes it in a slightly more interesting direction, where the 'beastie' is actually peripheral to the search for the Loch Ness treasure and the Stone of Destiny.
Legend Hunter Graeme is the large, adventurous type apparently inhabited 18th and 19th century Scotland in droves, although he's also half English and the Duke of Rothermore (A state of affairs he withholds from Vanessa until two-thirds of the way through the story - after which revelation her reaction is something like, "You're a Duke?" and he says, "Oh yes, thought I told you," and they just move on from there. But whatever.) Vanessa is an aspiring paleontologist, and comes across as sort of a Victorian era Temperance Brennan (only less obnoxious). Her scholarly take on matters of the heart is part of what makes the book so much fun to read. The book also features the return Fielding and Esme, more made-for-TV-movie type action and adventure, the reappearance of the chillingly vicious Raven, and more character deaths than you generally find in a romance novel. Overall, a quick, enjoyable read and the best of the series to date.
This book is going on the keeper shelf (sorry, PBS). It's so well written, and the perfect blend of funny, hawt, and heartbreaking. Plus, the hero is a 19th century version of Dr. Gregory House with Ryan Lochte's body (I'd say Michael Phelps, but I like Ryan much better), which might just add up to the Perfect Man. As a bonus, Linnet is as smart as she is beautiful and can match Piers wit for wit, making for some really enjoyable dialogue.
Having exhausted the ranks of the Boscastle siblings, Jillian Hunter has moved on to their cousin, Gabriel, and *his* siblings in this second half of her series. Gabriel has evolved into a slightly reformed bad boy who wins a decrepit estate in his old hometown and falls back in love with Alethea, his childhood crush. Alethea, meanwhile, is dealing with a dark secret from her recent past pertaining to her late, unlamented fiance. The two of them spar with and seduce each other, get sort-of engaged, get sort-of unengaged, and then finally manage to work their way back to a happy ending. Basically all the major characters from the former books in the series make an appearance at some point, and we meet the first of Gabriel's missing older brothers - whose own story could be lots of fun.
I didn't like this book quite as much as the first few in the series, as the plot seemed a little weak and most of the character developement apparently happened before the narrative started. Alethea's never-ending agony over her shameful secret started to feel overworked and a few of the plot points and characters felt incidental and probably could've been taken a lot further, but it's by no means an awful story. Here's hoping that Book 8 is a little less generic.
This was my first book by this author, and I was not overly impressed. I think that Drake was going for a Gothic tone, but what she ended up with was a collection of very earnest characters who seem to favor long-winded, overly dramatic descriptive (and repetitive) dialogue.
The story concerns two mis-matched characters who fall in love, and loosely follows a Beauty and the Beast theme. They and most of the secondary characters are not-so-subtly fixated on gender and class differences in Victorian England. The story ties in some really interesting stuff about early British excavation of Ancient Egypt, but that was dragged down by everything else in the book. Which is too bad, because the plot itself had a lot of potential. Not sure I'd recommend using a valuable credit on this one.
Neville is a new-to-me author, and I quite enjoyed this book. Definitely looking forward to more stories about members of the Burgundy Club (a fictitious group of Regency book collectors with some very memorable personalities).